Wednesday, February 21, 2018

d100 treasures of the veins

food is 200sp/lb, flesh is 100sp/lb and light 1sp/hour
  1. oversized golden Maneki-Neko
  2. pile of sea urchins
  3. gun with d6 bullets
  4. loom spins wheat into gold 
  5. loom spins gold into wheat
  6. lots of pristine bondage gear, turns dark corner further you dig
  7. kid who cries diamonds, 1/hr, isn’t sad
  8. ingredients for several industrial materials such as rubber, no recipe or instructions
  9. lots of silver Maneki-Nekos waving ominously
  10. gold flanges supporting something even more valuable which has been ripped away
  11. very high quality “brand name” rope
  12. dried newt hoard
  13. treacle mine
  14. smell of spoiled butter, cave is full of cream cheese-like runoff
  15. crates marked “goblin ass”
  16. strips of hardened meat, long sections of a creature as if run through a giant bread slicer 
  17. deanimated RE4 Reanimator
  18. definitely expired canned foods
  19. ancient trout-bank in sump
  20. teeth-laden jewelry not correlatable with any familiar body-shape
  21. room full of copper wool
  22. overfat pariah
  23. tortured mindless eunuch
  24. ...not mindless, begs like Looney Tunes character
  25. yttrium bucket can scoop up molten gold
  26. old sheets and blankets
  27. Candle of Ugliness
  28. inorganic flower rooted and apparently alive
  29. worms that look like gold from short distance
  30. deed due in Foreclose
  31. wall scripture wants to be your tattoo
  32. jar of paint, flammable when dry
  33. someone has been lovingly raising a cat
  34. d100 locks
  35. 14 flammable holy books
  36. gauntlet that makes you want to jerk off but will capture your soul if you do
  37. dried eyes on a hoop
  38. loose gunpowder
  39. preserved dead mimic
  40. crude oil collects here
  41. old pharmaceuticals
  42. battery powered neon light, D batteries included
  43. mega-old altar with salvageable organic remains
  44. flask of glue, edible
  45. crude sulfur refinery in pyrite cave
  46. old battle-worn coins from the surface
  47. opium
  48. fungal hay
  49. old library water-ruined and covered in crystals
  50. mushrooms
  51. very aged whisky
  52. spices
  53. ceremonial knife set
  54. knot map of distant zone
  55. fungus grows to look like books, not readable
  56. collection of sliced toes just beyond toeslicer
  57. bassy functional trumpet
  58. you can see a bunch of relaxing grecian figures if you put your eye to this garnet
  59. bones in quantity
  60. cranberries in bottled tears packed in eyelashes
  61. tick colony
  62. dog-sized earthworm + collar
  63. paraffin blocks
  64. wrapped blood lacquers
  65. really hard hardtack
  66. acid-as-currency vials
  67. quality fabric bag + fresh head
  68. thickening agent in hair bag lets you lacquer blood
  69. dead guy with many dead derro inside him
  70. drinkable oozes taste like a sports drink
  71. strange furs wrap a pocket dimension
  72. goblin petrified from the waist up
  73. whole diamond in handgun shape with trigger and everything
  74. chest of fine clothing
  75. chest of various fine shoes, all pretty much unsuitable for climbing
  76. mechanical statue of an unrecognizable regal figure screams doubles over and clutches head when wound up
  77. syringes of morphine, in quantity
  78. swimming bugs in milk in clear, terrible flasks
  79. chocolate
  80. shredded meat and salt 
  81. gold donuts
  82. rubies cut into long cylinders and ╬ęs
  83. tangle of fine metals the size of a beachball; you can put your head in, its a crown, supports yr eyelids
  84. harvested zits
  85. spellbook chock full of magic missile over and over
  86. teeth grow out of gums growing out of teeth, edible (gums are)
  87. deep janeen has left adamantium graffiti and someone has started carving it out of the wall
  88. last will and inheritance payable to pc from deR0
  89. really good art notebooks, burnable
  90. supersharp minted jewels
  91. mostly eaten fusion of burned corpse and burned armor
  92. snappable military glowsticks (already in the book somewhere)
  93. a wine cellar
  94. coal deposit
  95. large  barrel of salt, beneath the salt there is a whole and living sun face wall sculpture, edible and organic, currently in coma
  96. birdcage + bird
  97. many many D batteries
  98. corpse fairly identifiable as a Yoshi
  99. clean surgical tools
  100. you can't tell what it is, but it looks edible

Sunday, February 11, 2018

d100 interstices in the veins

for entering and exiting cities, mostly.

these are not the only part of the journey, but the inflection point:
  1. sewer pipes full of bums
  2. chevrons of cleared space around a vault door
  3. reroll and add “...however it has all been cleared out and is shiny from constant use”
  4. really long climb up/down to otherwise innocuous entrance, right next to thoroughfare
  5. ropework crosses across deafening river 60ft below, deviant teens harass
  6. people will actually try and recommend you use huge bats or something, this is a rude ploy, the actual path is being hidden by them 
  7. use one of the hundred caves from that table in the book but there are d20 guards just waiting there
  8. like the series of train cars in Snowpiercer, a literalized class distinction, everyone is fine with you travelling one direction only
  9. some guy has set up a checkpoint alike TSA, claims royal authority
  10. a metal and partially damaged ladder overhangs part of the city
  11. bridges of junk form in the piss-river
  12. a little-used trapdoor in a shop feeds directly into a cave system full of tight passes.
  13. airlock-style thing that doesn’t work and no-one maintains
  14. the city is actually dangerously close to a large number of cholerids who refuse to die. they’re behind a series of barred and curse-papered doors. they’re audible as you pass
  15. a really, really long well, complete with drip-splashes
  16. everyone just squirms through this crack into the lab from Resident Evil 4, but all the high-tech equipment is ruined and has graffiti over it, regenerators absent, hopefully
  17. you have to actually complete a zelda-puzzle to get through this part. it’s dumb and easy and everyone says so but there’s some sort of ancient bargain or magic or tech that maintains it
  18. zone is full of knife-wielding, screaming ghosts that are harmless
  19. fata-morgana-style audio effect causes you to think that there’s actually a second city underneath the long, thin, and handhold-spotted bridge you must crawl over
  20. people are playing a game with cutting off thumbs, there are multiple groups of travellers stopped to watch
  21. cave-troll only lets you pass if you let him lick you. it is not sexual
  22. there is an ongoing and fantastically expensive battle happening here, much alike the “bridge” sequence from Apocalypse Now. bc the most valuable thing to anyone involved is everyone’s flesh, it’s pretty much a free-for-all. that being said it’s not too hard to pass by without getting involved.
  23. darkness is so intense that your light sources don’t work anyway, or only work 5’, there’s a endlesss amount of shells that crack underfoot
  24. track left from a rolling boulder trap, always seems freshly sprung
  25. something about the air around here makes your ears pop strongly, there’s a fizzling sound like hydrochloric acid dissolving earwax. certain parts of the caves require tremendous fortitude to push through as your body shakes violently, some sort of magnetic barrier going on
  26. huge heaps of broken climbing equipment, surrounding a perfectly clean wall. climbing the wall seems like the easiest way into the city.
  27. large part of the journey is over knife-like floor which shreds your boots
  28. people regularly dig through ash-heaps which form like intense snow drifts, always covering the one funnel-like crawl out
  29. impossible to tell if they’re living guards or statues
  30. gnonmen are actively carving the exit here, it’s fresh
  31. like the stairway to elatior in MOTBM-- you think you’re going down but halfway you get confused and end up coming up
  32. abandoned mega-artillery surround some ancient battleground, they were powered by an energy source forgotten and extinct
  33. slaves live in little houses at the bottom of sand pits, constantly maintaining the pits to prevent the encroaching sweating sandstone (from Koko Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes). someone will make you pay a toll
  34. you have to climb through a series of ancient gearworks, and one that still works, it’s being run by a robot and doesn’t do anything
  35. a million twisty tunnels all lead in the same direction, faux-maze
  36. terribly clean marble hallway
  37. there’s a tableaux of a frozen dead person, and an animal that tried to eat that person, and a person who tried to eat that animal, and a giant bug... it’s unclear if it’s someone’s art, but they’re all extremely contoured, there are some pieces chopped off
  38. place was clearly once a public ampitheatre of some kind + dripping water, streamlets form passable tunnels
  39. working modern elevator
  40. the shrine past the bridge in Shadow of the Colossus, with the ramp, pool, ruined statues and altar
  41. muzak-sounds drifting through a boring walk
  42. drawbridge
  43. reverse-drawbridge, i.e. they raise and lower the moat
  44. ludicrously long drawbridge
  45. seriously damaged drawbridge
  46. remains of drawbridge over dried moat
  47. the many ants here are impossible to catch
  48. stairway stretched like a toddler drew it
  49. enormously large stairs
  50. two long metal prongs disrupt the tunnel in just a way where you can’t walk. have to crawl, seem to shift position over course of crawl. archers could stand at the end with great vantage, if they had enough light
  51. it’s a breakdown made out of file cabinents, don’t describe them as “file cabinents”
  52. a series of nets over an abyss, crawling across them makes your heart and stomach swim
  53. very long series of propped-up cage doors, noisy like walking across chain-link fence
  54. much larger and empty city surrounds the occupied one
  55. ferry with hooded figure, it’s cliche
  56. your path takes you over a series of peaks from which are visible other travellers on separate peaks but your paths never quite cross
  57. a magma ferry provided by a huge, invulnerable, nonspeaking worm, travel is in the mouth. you do have to throw payment down its gullet.
  58. shockingly powerful and brief squalls lambast an otherwise usual cave system
  59. harlequin guards perform for you? 
  60. you ALWAYS interrupt someone having sex when you come through here
  61. ferry and drawbridge operators competing
  62. long staircase
  63. cambrimen-operated drawbridge
  64. cambrimen-operated ferry
  65. shaftway with a 1-inch wide staircase threaded inside, barely practical
  66. mega cat haunts fissures, reaches in paw and tries to grab you
  67. the opening to Aguirre, Wrath of God, underground
  68. mouth-door with riddles tries to out-think locals
  69. emerald city little door guard cliche
  70. guard is also a skilled and passionate barber
  71. rope-pass with blinding particulate matter
  72. dead mouth-door
  73. cave giant with bowl will raise/lower you and kills the poor and vulnerable
  74. (stone) golf course with size-changing ferretmen out to hide in the holes and creep on you
  75. this underground settlement is in the middle of an underground desert
  76. you have to dive through a freezing sump to get here, people here are super willing to get naked to help you with hypothermia. they don’t consider it sexual
  77. train-tracks suspended above an unnavigable river
  78. locals insist the pass is safe, there are plenty of falling rocks, no one ever gets hit
  79. they pull up a drawbridge to block the waterfall
  80. tunnel rotates on a vertical/horizontal axis, crocodile man has the controls
  81. salt path parts oozeroom
  82. barrier from valley of unknown evils maintained by hex you must walk as a (linear) maze
  83. linear maze-crawl, takes hours
  84. sooty passageways in cave-reclaimed industrial building
  85. tunnel steals fingernails, clumps come off in hand, it must also grow fingernails?
  86. you have to wade through silty mud and watch out for quicksand
  87. half-sunken crypt infested with very smart rats
  88. the exit is also where everyone sleeps, as is custom
  89. there’s a logbook you’re supposed to sign
  90. carvings near entrance crudely depict pariah
  91. reclaimed alkalion tunnel
  92. running out of steam here… it’s just a normal tunnel
  93. red snake painted on wall takes you the right way to the city, green snake takes you to a dangerous dead end. on the way back out, it switches. locals can’t keep it straight.
  94. sherrif climbs out to meet you and accompanies you out of town. reroll
  95. sword firmly stuck in stone, around next bend two swords stuck in stone, around next bend two axes, next bend there’s three sword blades and two axe blades sticking out of the stone
  96. Amigara Fault tunnels
  97. hairy tunnel
  98.  ladders tied together in the void
  99.  rocks sweat gas and make airless pools
  100. tunnel is a literal “vein” with blood and everything. not edible

Saturday, February 3, 2018

trpg post: invading the dreams of a child

invading the dream of a child

a note about creepiness: it’s horror, and I’m basically into using children as a source of horror, especially since the conditions of youth tend to outline a society; and what better means a society of horror? that being said, I don’t intend to involve any sexual themes in this context in my own game or any of the stuff on my blog.

this is all in the context of an underground city fed by a unique ability to invade the dreams of children.

contents of a child's dream:

1) the child themselves, usually, who invariably are dazed and have some ongoing, worsening headache.

2) potentially, food, or at least things that are edible that can be stolen. anything edible-looking will be stolen, including sentient beings, if they can't defend themselves. every so often there is a great deal of edible material inside a child's head, and rarely, and perhaps if the interim ruling class manages their hypno-farm right, there will be something like a feast of actual food which can be gobbled and stolen. ofc there's the many occasions when said food is actually a trap of the decietful child's mind and it's all zombie vampire bats waiting to bite, but again, these can be eaten too usually

the dream child would be food too, but what invariably happens when the child, clutching their head, is pulled out of their own corpse, is that a bunch of mouths open up everywhere on the child's skin and there's a lot of biting. you can eat that, and you do it by boiling it down till it's all hard and you can scrape some marrow out of the joints. it's good eating, but it's not a big meal ?what is? and anyway it's sort of not worth it. because Yeongweol-gun and Figs are gonna have bite marks all over their fingers from handling it, and the pot will stink even more for a week.

3) the other ppl forcing their way into the child's head. it's doubtful you can go out if you can't find the way you came in.

from the more distinguished houses, there are those who are sort of dream-knights, proto-dream mercenaries, who pride themselves on this sorta work and have dedication and maybe even some specialized tools.

(beyond the obvious one, which looks like a specialized, oversize juicer)

it’s a common aphorism that invading dreams is basically like caving, if you should do one you should be able to do another. this is a joke

4) contents of the child's dream. varies. sometimes, occasionally, lethal. often has nothing to do with food. although they try, to entice them to think of, spices or something, they'll bring in the smells nearby the asleep victim. so you see a lot of sandy banks, burning things. often because it's an underdark child, it will be dark, but there usually is, instead of light, an awareness of things.

some dreams:

  • familiar places with lots of extra rooms
  • bright blue interior cave with thousands of colorful rocks forming a planet, large nightmare-like creatures shiver and jump between backwards-hanging trees
  • footwide space between two endless blankets, creasing various textures, occasional trap and nightmare-hypoxia
  • caves with shouting family members just  beyond vision, approaching means slowing down like in nightmare, spatiated previous invaders, in these cases hoping the dream dies down and they can go and reach those family people (probably a dud idea)
  • segmented lava-dream with giant cats and people faces
  • child has tried to dream of food but has instead dreamed of smiling, mumbling rocks shaped as food. there are however a lot of panicked dream-overseers
  • infinite field of wheat, loops up a hill and near a stream. crawly fish among the wheat
  • everyone is standing around babbling

one notable thing is that the actual social-situation going on in the dream may be inscrutable to invaders. dreams tend to be remembered as a series of narrative events but being inside a dream is not narrative. you are in an environment, perhaps as large of the world, where things are happening, or not. the actual “narrative” of what’s going on, especially since the headache, is probably unknowable.

5) you can add in nightmares, which you should. nightmares aren't embodiments of anything. they're their own thing, and they're fairly summarizable as "monsters". or "pariahs".


the phantom head of gargas, still-tor-men, tachyon troll. the rapture, of course. the oneirocetacean is pretty much always there, but it knows how to leave, and it's rarely obvious. phantom shrimp have made appearances, and yeah, derro show up, but what where they doing there?

dream-derro are actually magnetically faceless beings that never seem right no matter how bizarre the situation they're in. they will head for the hills usually, after being directly confronted.


there's a lot of them which are sort of indescribable thing, like presences, usually, but with bonus extra qualities in the mind's eye: these, out of the head, are more like chemical-gas attacks but tend to disperse quickly.

then there's the more stable chimeras, who are almost all hunted before they have much to do.

then there's the more subtle influences like people, who can defend themselves, who come back out. these are never real-people, not really, they are usually false; and the falseness of their being is the same whether inside the head or out. those ones are the more dangerous and are often shunned but they have a way of forgetting, everyone involved in this.

6) treasure (not edible):
  1. things that look like things that should work, but do not: these do work in other people's dreams, though.
  2. just general stuff; tends to be unreliable. gold coins are almost never real and silver never is. there's a standing issue with the unstandardizability of dream-stuff, as it's never just one thing, usually accrues in unexpected ways, unreliable....that being said there is a trade in the sale of potentially useful dream-things, so watch out for stuff which is half-realistic and how a child imagines a thing and is manufactured in a ways that don't make sense.
  3. bizarre objects no child should think of: these are really real things and more of a mystery than anything else. thought of, sometimes, as plaque, or lucky, or both.

.lastly. the child dies.

dreams don't last awful long. at the top end it might be a couple of hours, it might even go into the day, longest one ever was a day and a half

roll a d6 to determine die, d4 d6 d8 d10 d12 d20, then a d3:

1. minutes
2. turns
3. hours

you'll know it’s ending by the last two (units).

alternatively, just do d50 minutes. i like that better

when the dream is dying:

1. blood up in the floor
2. thrumming and high pitch at the end
3. organ-creatures start bursting in through the walls
4. npcs start acting unusual           
5. the exit closes and everything just starts to rot
6. delerium tremens

if the child is harmed: generally, not a problem, but roll the time limit again; if the new time limit is lower, but not too low to already have passed, that's the new time limit.

the phantom thread

there must be a social, central premise I'm missing, right? here's the trailer. "you can sew almost anything into the canvas of a coat". it must be the case that something is sewn into this movie... with phantom thread!!!

that being said, I have no inkling what it is. Except, of course, my boyfriend's premonition, after seeing the trailer alone, that it was about a gay man and his perhaps unknowing beard. I went into watch with this idea and came out like half-satisfied? but my family got mad at me, my mom's homophobic :(

(she is working on it tho)


anyway , the trailer at least, and the poster, are so spookily intense that I just can't drop that there's something more to the film, a hidden drama. because else, there is not much there, at least, for my modern eyes. you get the scene showing off the dress and you must think, as a modern viewer, that this dress looks like snow white disney, it is not appealing to me, but in the movie everything possible is done to make it in context as if it is beautiful, and it is, to these past 1950's people.

but at the end, maybe, there's a kind of red herring, with the twist is she is poisoning him, at least sometimes, and it's kind of a jolly conclusion. which feels like a red herring, because the movie is a comedy. it could just be a very subtle film about the subtle winning over of daniel day lewis's character to a position just right of total mediocrity. is it his interior that is so mysterious?

I mean imagine the trailer but done in the style of last vegas, you would get a closer picture of the film, which is full of jokes, like light comedy-of-manners jokes. There's a hint of a mystery like in "Eyes Wide Shut" where it zips up and you don't gain access.

Friday, February 2, 2018

green room .2015. review

made me sad I don’t have a stumpy punk girlfriend, or that I fucked up joining those communities, etc., bad social skills, has an interesting relatively slow choreography-vision of violence, esp since the neo-nazis involved tend to assert total confidence over their ability to kill while also showing up with half-loaded guns.

I mean, if you really zoomed in on henchmen in videogames, this movie does that, presents an understanding power-structure from the top-down of what neo-nazis are, in like a rural area, the cadence of which is an ability to understand intimately the violence, which is also the source of horror-- the procedural understanding, slow transition to deathhouse grind with the nazis communicating tactically to each other, slow building to violent acts.

in the beginning even they play a song “fuck nazi punks” and the nazis throw beer but the show goes on, they're practical people. something about the violence inherent in cascading power structures and how these, improbably, exist with Patrick Stewart in backwoods Pennsylvania, allows for a grasp of nazism as it really seems, more than video game fare.

relentless picnic boys were saying “you’re in a situation where you wanna negotiate with the nazis and you think you can but you can’t because they’re nazis” and it’s like yeah, the time to act actually is a little ahead of their negotiation to get the jump on them

I'll expand on this a little to say... if nazism is really foremost ostensibly a power system, one of the best ways to view it is a unfolding in a crisis... you get some of the picture of its effectiveness (it's not that effective) but you also gain a sense of the aesthetics, which are the implied threats, in motion